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byChris Feil

Inert biopics line the multiplex like gravestones,but seldom are they as dead on arrival asTolkien.Depicting the author and philologist's young adulthood and experience in World War I before creatingThe Hobbit,Dome Karukoski's film isn't just another dull cookie cutter telling of a famous figure.It's perhaps a new gold standard of "Wikipedia entry as high school book report as prestige picture"malaise,the low bar to compare passable boring films."At least it's notTolkien."

Nicholas Hoult stars as the eponymoius J.R.R.Tolkien,struggling to overcome his social and fiscal limitations while at Oxford.He is part of a foursome of tightly knit male friends and artists,each with class stature above his own.Meanwhile he sacrifices his love for fellow orphan Edith Bratt (Lily Collins) in order to secure his future.The outbreak of the war casts all of this asunder,serving Tolkien blows to the body and spirit that ultimately serve his coming creative landmarks.


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